matter matters

The most remarkable discovery in all of astronomy is that the stars are made of atoms of the same kind as those on the earth.” – Richard P. Feynman

What matters is that matter matters

Part 1

What’s the matter? Does it matter? The physical world is made of matter. It matters…..Matter matters.

The word ‘matter’ can be taken in different ways. The word matter comes to us from Latin materia which today means something along the lines of substance from which something is made.” Even psychelogically, the matter, the problem, the trouble, contains substance which makes it what it is. The idea that physical matter was composed of building blocks was known to the Greeks as early as 490 BC and to older cultures going back thousands of years. Over the centuries, knowledge of those building blocks has become ever increasingly subtle, from cells to atoms to sub-atomic particles, and beyond. The everyday physical world in which we live is composed of three states of matter: solid, liquid and gas. Each state is composed of building blocks: atoms, and sub-atomic particles, even though they are, like the air we breathe (a gas), invisible to our every day eyes.

When we think about who and what we are, we can’t go very far without understanding that our physical biological existence is made up of matter. Our body is a combination of solid, liquid and gas, for example, bone, water and air, with about 70% being water, made up of hydrogen and oxygen atoms, in a particular specific configuration. What underlies sub-atomic particles is considered a fourth state of matter referred to as ‘plasma.’ “Plasma…may be the most common state of matter in the universe. Plasma consists of highly charged particles with extremely high kinetic energy. Stars are essentially super-heated balls of plasma.” (Wikipedia).

Plasma is also the word used for the liquid in which the blood (cells and atoms) of our biological body is suspended. Plasma accounts for about 55% of the body’s total blood volume. In a similar way, cosmic plasma, the super kinetic star matter, is that in which gas, liquid and solid are suspended. We do not detect plasma no more than we detect air (gas). And yet, we are very dependent upon both.

Solids are detected based on our biological senses and how they operate, in wakeful state. What is normally solid in wakeful state, can be more liquid in dream state. In dream state, the laws of physics which rule our waking world don’t apply. In dream state of consciousness, one can defy logic, or at least the logic of waking state of consciousness.

Let’s take some poetic license, add a dash of imagination, a pinch of memory, and a good dose of synthesis, and have some fun with associations…..

If wakeful state of consciousness is the solid state of matter, then dream state is the liquid state of matter, and sleep gas.

State of Consciousness

State of Matter

Wakeful

Solid

Dreaming

Liquid

Sleep

Gas

The wisdom teachings speak of yet another state of consciousness transcendental to waking, dreaming and sleeping that sounds a lot like plasma. If waking, dreaming and sleeping is linked to solid, liquid and gas, transcendental consciousness is plasma.

State of Consciousness

State of Matter

Wakeful

Solid

Dreaming

Liquid

Sleep

Gas

Transcendental

Plasma

What we call waking occurs in our physical biology, which is a land body. We know ourselves as being land creatures; we live on land, not in the sea or in the sky. When dreaming though, we are in a different body, a more fluid psychelogical sphere which can associate as our sea body. Sleeping is nebulous and amorphous, like gas, and like the sky. When asleep, we are alive, in our sky body. Transcendental consciousness is the plasma of cosmic space.

State of Consciousness

State of Matter

Sphere of Matter

Wakeful

Solid

Land

Dreaming

Liquid

Sea

Sleep

Gas

Sky

Transcendence

Plasma

Space

When awake, we are living in a solid biological land body, which is our ‘personal self.’; when dreaming, in a liquid psychelogical sea body, which is our ‘individual self’ and when asleep, in a gaseous sociological sky body which is our ‘collective self.’ All within the stellar plasma of a space body, which is our cosmic self.

States of Consciousness

States of Matter

Spheres of Matter

Domains of Matter

Identity of Consciousness

Wakeful

Solid

Land

Biological

Personal Self

Dreaming

Liquid

Sea

Psychelogical

Individual Self

Sleep

Gas

Sky

Sociological

Collective Self

Transcendence

Plasma

Space

Cosmological

Cosmic Self

And, for the fun of it, let’s continue on with poetic license and add another association. The cosmic self wears a material cloak of collective self, which wears a material fabric of individual self, which wears a material sheath of personal self. In poetic terms, this can be made into a metaphor such that the personal self wears a heavy suit of wool. The individual self wears a suit of hemp. The collective self is covered in a suit of cotton. And, the cosmic self is adorned by a suit of fine silk. When the silk is taken off, there is only naked consciousness, without structure, without content.

Identity of Consciousness

(Mind)

Sheath of Consciousness

(Body)

Personal Self

Wool

Individual Self

Hemp

Collective Self

Cotton

Cosmic Self

Silk

The wisdom teachings speak in depth about the different sheaths of consciousness and provide understandings about the path towards nakedness. When the weighty wool coat is removed, there remains an undercoat of thick hemp, which when removed leaves an undercoat of soft cotton. Disrobing from cotton yields a sheath of fine silk and when that is removed all that remains is naked consciousness, without any structure and without any content. Re-emodiment is not dissimilar to putting on a pair of outer clothing, putting on structure and content. The individual self condenses into the personal self. The collective self condenses into the individual self. The cosmic self condenses into the collective self. Naked consciousness radiates into the cosmic self.

Part 2

We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.”Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Energy is mass (matter) condensed; the atoms of matter, in their varying combinations and configurations, are very kinetic, very active, lots of excessively fast motion. For example, 2,200 kilometers per second, or 4,921,260 miles per hour, is the speed of an electron around the nucleus  of a hydrogen atom.  Our planet revolves around our star at the speed 67,000 miles per hour, or 30 kilometers per second.  The atoms within your biological planetary land body contains, as it does in all matter, a lot of energy, which is, in the wisdom teachings, referred to as the spiritual realm. We are streams of intelligent energy having an experience of matter.

There are two types of energy: kinetic, which is energy in motion, applied energy, and potential energy,which is stored energy, energy in waiting. Matter is kinetic energy drawn from stored energy. It can be pictured as if the energy that powers a mansion comes from a nearby power sub-station which draws it’s energy from the power plant, which also serves other sub-stations. The same kinetic energy that moves the tectonic plates of continents, also moves the atoms in your cells in your legs that walk down the street. Same power plant, different sub-stations, and sub-sub stations. Each is a channel of applied energy in defined kinetic form, applicable to the functioning or ‘work’ of that form. Observations of the varied interconnected complexities found in plant species and animal societies would suggest this energy that animates life is a wholistic ecological intelligence in action. The wisdom teachings refer to this wholistic ecological intelligence which animates existence as ‘consciousness.’

This same animating intelligence, the same consciousness, energizes not just our biological body; it also animates the individual psyche, and the collective, including all planetary life. Conventional understanding says our psyche and our social interactions arise out of our biology. The wisdom teachings look at it from the other way around. Our personal consciousness is an aggregation of elemental components drawn from the biosphere. The individual is an aggregation of elemental components drawn from the psycheshpere. The collective self is a heap of gases and the cosmic self a field of stellar plasma. Biological matter, the personal self, does not exist without stellar plasma, without gas, liquid and solid, without collective social and individual psychelogical energies. Psychelogical material gathers from collective material not unlike a magnet accumulating iron filings within its sphere, and collective material is an aggregation of condensed plasma. Without the collective, there is no individual; without the individual, there is no person. Without the transcendent, there is no cosmos. For a person to ‘achieve their full potential’ would mean to…..be naked.

Part 3

What is human potential? Potential is a word that comes to the modern world from Latin and translates as ‘power, might, force.’ It’s most generally understood meaning is ‘possible.’ If as is often said, ‘anything is possible’, then potential is, as is stated in the wisdom teachings, ‘the field of all possibilities.’ That field of all possibilities is what underlies plasma. Potential is by definition undefined, without limits, without form; kinetic energy is defined, with limits and form, ie, matter, and mass. But, ultimately, all material forms, and all conscious states of mind, are, essentially, this field of all possibilities, expressed as specific actualities. Just as solid can change to liquid, liquid to gas, so actualities can also change into something else. Energy is neither created nor destroyed. It is indestructable; matter changes form from one actuality to another. The biological land body of modern hominoids has changed form over the eons of evolution ever more capable of actualizing wholistic ecological intelligence, cosmic consciousness, on a global, planetary scale, all around the world. It’s continually happening, if even within the vast framework of geological time. The emergence of a new hominoid is coming. Homo Ecos is on the horizon.

“Energy is eternal delight.” – William Blake


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